Complete guide to the Polar Plus charging network
Owned by BP Chargemaster, the Polar Plus network consists of more than 7,000 charging points across the UK, and includes everything from slow chargers to rapid chargers.
Its 150kW ultra-fast charging unit was revealed in June 2019, with the first pair installed at a BP forecourt activated in August 2019. In January 2020, it opened a rapid charging hub on the M6 in Lancashire, at the Caton Road Park & Ride location near Junction 34, installing six 50kW units.
The company said 100 individual ultra-fast points would be installed across 50 BP forecourts by the end of 2019, and it expects to have 400 of the 150kW in place throughout the country by 2021.
Membership of the Polar Plus network costs £7.85 per month, and most of the network is free to use for members. Some charging points do incur a fee, however, with prices starting from 12p per kWh at certain AC chargers.
The network's 43kW AC and 50kW DC rapid chargers cost 15p per kWh to use, while the 150kW DC ultra-fast chargers cost 20p/kWh. The company has said that all its new rapid and ultra-fast chargers – in addition to its existing units – will be fitted with contactless payment technology. Paying with a debit or credit card costs 30p per kWh and 40p per kWh for rapid and ultra-fast charging respectively.
After you’ve signed up, you get a card or key fob in the post giving you access to the network. Simply drive up, plug in and tap the charger to top up your car. In addition to unlimited free charges (minus the membership fee), access to the ChargeYourCar network is included.
The Polar Plus network also operates an ‘EV Experience Fleet’, featuring cars like the BMW i8 and Tesla Model S. With each charge, members accumulate ‘Polar Points’, which they can then use to bid on seven-day experiences in other electric vehicles.
There are caveats, though: you can only earn points from an individual town or city once each month, and if successful you must collect and return the vehicle yourself. The EV Experience Centre is based in Milton Keynes.
The company says 30 new sites are being added to the Polar Plus network each month, with a rapid-charger network being rolled out across the country, too. A live map of the Polar Plus network showing the status of all its chargers can be viewed on the company’s website. There’s also a Polar Plus app for smartphone users.